A First Read for the New Year

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Hi readers! If you loved Lives of Unforgetting, I’d like to suggest No Lasting Burial for your first read in the new year. It is my best book. It features a dying city. A lake where the fish have disappeared and the dead lurk underwater. A one-armed woodcarver in search of love. An outcast rebel with a cause, a battle-horn, and a scar for each of the dead he’s sent home. A widow fighting for the lives of her sons, who gave birth in a tomb so soldiers wouldn’t find her and the child. A disgraced priest, tormented by the night his people were attacked and he ran away. A fisherman-poet who dreams of the night he heard angels calling to each other across the hills. A homeless migrant who needs her voice back, if anyone will listen. And a traveling miracle-worker with dirt on his face and ears that hear every cry of pain and grief in every century, and who starts stirring everything that’s dead and unburied…

Cover Reveal: Ansible Season Three

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Hello readers,

I am delighted to share with you the cover (with art by Stevie Rae) for Ansible: Season Three, forthcoming from Stant Litore in March 2020!

Ansible-Season-3

A Syrian refugee, a thirteenth-century librarian, and a hijabi shapeshifter from the far future must travel across space and time to defend humanity from an intergalactic and devouring evil.

Season Three will include, in one volume, the next two stories in the series:

  • “Ansible: Rasha’s Letter” (novella)
  • Ansible: Falling from the Sky (novel)

You can get Seasons One and Two in paperback, kindle, or audiobook editions:

ansibleseason1_frontcover_1000   ansibleseasontwo_kcover1

Ansible: Season One  |   Ansible: Season Two

 

8 Years of Storytelling!

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October 5 will be here soon: the eighth anniversary of the publication of my first novel, Death Has Come Up into Our Windows. It is a very raw, emotional, visceral book about grief and justice, love and loss and endurance. I remain moved by it, many years later. Its thematic concerns are still the same questions that drive me. It was the first installment in The Zombie Bible, a retelling of the tale of Jeremiah.

Last year, I reflected on it while writing Lives of Unforgetting:

I have always found myself moved and troubled by Jeremiah’s story. Like Cassandra of Troy, cursed by the god Apollo to see the future but be believed by no one, Jeremiah walks the streets of ancient Jerusalem before its fall, pleading with the economically well-to-do, the religiously content, and the politically complacent. Look at our city, he demands. One child is sacrificed to the flames on the hill, while another starves in the street while just indoors, on the other side of a wall, an affluent woman with well-fed children bakes cakes to Astarte, and sings so that she will not hear the screams of another woman’s child.

“I set Jeremiah’s complaints against injustice and idolatry (which he saw as a root cause of injustice) to fiction in my novel Death has Come up into Our Windows. I wanted to try and put that prophet’s heart and his words of fire on the page for a modern reader.”

And in a note at the beginning of Death Has Come Up into Our Windows, I said this about the story’s genre and its thematic concerns:

“The crisis created by an outbreak of the walking dead offers a telling diagnostic of those flaws in the human condition that resurface, century upon century: our tendency to let problems fester untended until they become crises, our frequent inability to work together for a common good, our quickness to forget the lessons our grandparents learned at the cost of much sweat and blood, and the extent to which our privileged classes ignore and deny responsibility for the plight of the impoverished and the disinherited. Our ancestors often described the attacks of the hungry dead as acts of either divine retribution for human sins or divine abandonment in utter grief at human evil, and in at least one sense they may have been correct: the rapid rise of an outbreak is nearly always a consequence of our own failings.”

I think the story may be all the more timely and desperate now, even more than in 2011. Certainly when I wrote it, starting in the summer of 2009, I was thinking as much of our America as I was of Jeremiah’s ancient and dying city.

If you’ve never read the book, I hope you might. It is part nightmare, part cry of defiance in the dark, part love letter from me as a young writer with a heart on fire. It is here:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B012R7PFU8

In October, the book will be 8 years old. It has been a vigorous, exhausting, hopeful, exhilarating eight years. And it is still only the beginning. So many stories yet to tell.

Stant Litore

DHCW

A Little Bit of Celebration for the Day

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Look who is growing!

Diana1

It’s my Great Pyrenees puppy, Diana of Themyscira. She is known affectionately around the house, though, as Thunderfloof. She has been an enormous help to me in weathering the winter depression I get; with her, I managed to sail my raft over the surface of depression’s gray sea without sinking fully in, this winter.

She is beautiful and good-hearted:

Diana2

Look who else has been growing! Even more exciting – It’s my son, Círdan Leto, named for the Shipwright in The Lord of the Rings and for the Duke and the God Emperor in the Dune series. He is exploring. He is two now – how swiftly Lady Time leaps when children dance with her!

CirdanCirdan1

My daughters are also thriving. River is excelling at math and science, and Inara is now trying to learn to run – she’ll run a few steps, stumble, and try again, a few times a week. That is how much she thinks of the prediction she was once given that she would never stand or walk…

Thank you all for following my work! Whether you’re doing it on this blog, on Facebook, or on Patreon – where you can get the behind-the-scenes look at everything that’s getting created and help fund more of it. It means so much to me.

I hope you’ve been enjoying the books! The next up – working vigorously on it now – will be Ansible: Season Three.

Stant Litore

Books

Reminder to Self

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Reminder to Self: I am not writing for everyone.

That reader over there, in tears and a little overwhelmed with life, who tonight could really use the adrenaline rush of riding a tyrannosaur across an orbital space station, that’s who I’m writing for.

That reader over there who has just been bricked up behind an authoritarian wall of out-of-context biblical verses and can’t draw a good breath of air and who would really appreciate having that house-of-cards wall shattered and spun into a life-affirming, take-you-over-the-rainbow, blow-the-roof-off-the-church-and-come-to-Jesus whirlwind, that’s who I’m writing for.

And that boy in me, fighting giant invisible birds with a stick in the forest behind his farm, that’s who I’m writing for.

Can’t write for everyone. But I can write for them.

Stant Litore

Here in the American West

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Uranium

There is so much to love about this story. First, the couple involved have such great names for characters in a story: Stephen Jennings and Rachel Rivera. Second, the uranium and the rattlesnake were both legal in Oklahoma (the open bottle of Kentucky Deluxe, not so much). Third, the vehicle was stolen. Fourth, Rachel Rivera was a felon. Fifth, Jennings told the cops (jokingly, one assumes, but let’s not assume, because we’ve got us a story to tell) that with his pet snek and the jar of uranium, he figured he might make a super snake. Sixth, the poor guy got pulled over for … having expired tags. So there’s Jennings, backcountry rebel in his stolen ride with his felon Rachel in the passenger seat with her firearm ready, his deathkillsnake in the back, his jar of uranium, his bottle of Kentucky’s not-quite-finest firewater, all ready to rev it up and head straight across the American West to spread a trail of mayhem, carnage, and slithery wonder … and then he gets pulled over because the tags got too old. The best laid plans of snakes and men go oft awry, and bureaucracy is the grim reaper who comes for us all in the end.

And if that isn’t a quintessential American story, I don’t know what is.

Stant Litore